The Fairy Christmas
by Etheldred B. Barry
It was Christmas Day, and Toddy and Tita were alone. Papa and
mamma had gone out West to see their big boy who was ill. They
had promised to be home for Christmas, but a big snow had blocked
the railroad track, and nurse was afraid the train would be
delayed until the day after Christmas. What a dull Christmas
for two little girls, all alone in the great city house, with
only the servants! They felt so lonely that nurse let them play
in the big drawing-room instead of in the nursery, so they arranged
all the chairs in a row, and pretended it was a snowed-up train.
Tita was the conductor, and Toddy was the passengers. Just as
they were in the midst of it, they heard music in the
street, and, running to the window, they saw a little boy outside,
singing and beating a tambourine.
"Why," said Tita, "his feet are all
"Dess he hanged up bofe stockin's an' his shoes, too," said
"Let's open the window and ask him."
But the great window was too high to reach, so they took papa's
cane and pushed it tip. The little boy smiled, but they could
not hear what he said, so they told him to come in, and ran to
open the big front door. He was a little frightened at first,
but the carpet felt warm to his poor bare feet.
He told them that his name was Guido, and that he had come from
Italy, which is a much warmer country than ours, and that he
was very poor, so poor that he had no shoes, and had to go singing
from house to house for a few pennies to get some dinner. And
he was so hungry.
"Poor little boy!" said Tita. "Our
mamma is away, and we're having a pretty sad Christmas, but
we'll try to make it nice for you."
they played games, and Guido sang to them. Then the folding
doors rolled back, and there was the dining-room and the table
all set, and Thomas, the black waiter, smiling, just as if it
had been a big dinner party instead of two very little girls.
Nurse said: "Well, I never!" when she saw Guido, but she felt
so sorry for the lonely little girls that she let him come to
the table. And such a dinner as he ate! He had never had
one like it before. "It is a fairy tale," he said.
Just as dessert came on, the door opened
and in rushed mamma and papa; the train had gotten in, after
all. They were so glad to see their darlings happy instead
of moping that they gave them each some extra kisses. You may
be sure little Guido never went hungry and barefoot after that.
Long afterward he would say: "That was a fairy Christmas!"
That night, after Tita had said her prayers, she said:
"Mamma, I know something. Whenever
you feel sad and lonely, if you will just find somebody sadder
and lonelier than yourself and cheer them up, it will make
you all right."
And I think that that was the very best kind of a Christmas
lesson of love. Don't you?